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Host Peter Tonge visits the Weston Maple Sugar Project in Weston, Massachusetts. Shows the process of making maple syrup from tapping a maple sugar tree to boiling sap in a sugar shack. The second part of the program focuses on the basics of planning a garden in late winter. Also explains how to mix and apply liquid fertilizers. Originally aired as an episode of "The Good Green Earth."
Rendered in woodcut-inspired 2-D, this short animation serves as a comic warning about the devastating effects of clear-cutting rain forests. The story unfolds in a lush jungle inhabited with exotic creatures. Suddenly, a chain saw can be heard in the distance, followed by the sound of trees crashing to the ground.
Students learn the different parts of trees. They also investigate the difference between the terms deciduous and coniferous. Explore the reasons trees are important parts of the environment.
David Stahle travels to ancient forests around the world, collecting tree rings to learn more about major climate and historical events dating back hundreds and thousands of years. With help from the National Science Foundation, he uses dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, to get a snapshot of climate change over time. Stahle runs the Tree-ring Lab at the University of Arkansas, where he and fellow tree-ring researchers are learning that a trend of global warming began in the 1800s and continues today, brought about by changes in tropical sea surface temperatures of no more than a few tenths of a degree Celsius. Today Stahle is working with hydrologists and government planners in California and throughout Mexico to plan for drought and climate change events.
In summer the leaves on the strange tree growing in Miss McGillicuddy's yard are harvested by many people, but when Miss McGillicuddy thinks about needing firewood for the winter, she realizes the tree may have another use. Based on a book by Sarah Stewart.
In this episode, Pete Nelson describes his passion for building tree houses, and inventor Anthony Lenzo describes how he plans to turn a smart phone into an underwater camera. Host Mo Rocca features an architect that is creating vertical gardens on Mexico's highways, and the final story explains why the railroad world ditched stream engines for diesel. Part of "The Henry Ford Innovation Nation With Mo Rocca" series.
Moko is an explorer. As he travels the world continent by continent, he makes many friends and discovers many natural phenomena which sometimes delight him, and other times scare him. Each animated episode recounts an adventure and takes an "original story" approach to explaining these natural phenomena. In this episode, Moko and Mei-Lei are resting in the shade of a tall tree. Mei-Lei is wondering whether Moko will be leaving her and saddened by this thought she walks away. Moko sets off to try to find her in the tropical forest. Droplets of water stream down from the trees like rain. Night falls and Moko can no longer see anything. He decides to wait until morning to go on. The next morning, Mei-Lei has returned and she is smiling because she sees that she must mean a lot to Moko since he came all this way to find her. He thinks that the trees have stopped crying now that Mei-Lei is no longer sad.
Moko is an explorer. As he travels the world continent by continent, he makes many friends and discovers many natural phenomena which sometimes delight him, and other times scare him. Each animated episode recounts an adventure and takes an "original story" approach to explaining these natural phenomena. In this episode, after a long voyage Moko arrives in Amazonia. He thinks that all of the people from this country must be giants because the trees in the forest he comes across are enormous. He climbs the tallest tree he can find and looks out towards the landscape and sees that the trees stretch out as far as the eye can see. Moko wonders if this is what the end of the world looks like. He feels quite alone and makes a wish to the stars to put a new friend on his path.
Hanna and Olli feel sad and disappointed when they find out a small neighborhood park is being dug up to make way for a parking lot. They visit it one last time, and an old oak tree unexpectedly gives them some hope for the future. Part of the "My Little Planet" series.
Can trees really combat climate change? For eons, nature has relied on photosynthesis as a means to keep carbon dioxide levels from getting out of control. This episode discusses ways trees can help solve climate change. Part of the “It’s Okay to Be Smart” series.
The diversity of rotifers is stunning, and many different species are overviewed. Planktonic rotifers have special adaptations for open water life. Nematodes (roundworms) include a number of important human parasites, seldom seen but easily found. Tree moss, leaf litter, and compost piles swarm with nematodes.
Scientists have identified a crustacean that likes to feast on wood. The squat lobster scavenges for fallen trees and even the occasional shipwreck. This discovery is helping scientists learn more about animals colonizing the deep sea. Part of the "News of the Day" series.
Shows the structure, behavior, and life cycles of planarians and their free-living relatives (class Turbellaria). Illustrates the bizarre life cycles of flukes (class Trematoda) and tapeworms (class Cestoda) with detailed animations and revealing images of these parasites in action.
There is an elaborate social network living in forests. It’s called the “Wood Wide Web,” a massive and intricate network of fungi that exchange water, nutrients, and chemical signals with plants. This network of fungi is essential to the health and function of forests and to controlling climate change. Part of the "It's Okay to Be Smart" series.
Working in the islands of the Caribbean, biologist Jonathan Losos has discovered the traits that enable dozens of anole species to adapt to different vertical niches in the forest. Differences in limb length, body shape, and toepad size allow different species to flourish on the ground. However, lizards living on thin branches or high in the canopy have different characteristics. These varied adaptations have played a key role in reproductive isolation and the formation of new species.
Demonstrates techniques for using a student microscope to achieve spectacular images. Emphasizes correct lighting procedures and the techniques required for viewing living cells.
The Magic School Bus is an award winning animated children’s television series based on the book series of the same title by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for its use of celebrity talent and being both highly entertaining and educational. The kids rent a rainforest cocoa tree as an Earth Day present for Ms. Frizzle. But when the harvest arrives, there's only one shriveled cocoa bean and a note from Inspector 47. The note reports that the tree isn't producing beans. Ms. Frizzle takes the class to the rain forest to meet the inspector and find out why the trees aren’t producing cocoa beans.
It is Fletcher's first autumn, and he is alarmed when the leaves on his favorite tree start to turn brown and fall off. He tries day after day to save the leaves that the tree is losing to the wind. When the tree has no leaves left, Fletcher goes to bed in despair. However, after a cold night, Fletcher wakes up to see his tree sparkling as he has never seen it before. Based on the children's book by Julia Rawlinson.
Host Peter Tonge visits with Wayne Schoech of New England Bonsai Gardens who offers suggestions on how to care for bonsai (ancient Oriental art form of miniaturizing trees and shrubs) when you bring it home. Mark Heinlein, also from the Gardens, transforms a three-year-old juniper into an ancient, windswept tree in 25 minutes. Originally aired as an episode of "The Good Green Earth."
Why does everything turn yellow in spring? Pine trees produce yellow pollen every year at this time. This annoying ritual is necessary for pine trees to reproduce. Part of the "Seasonal Science" series.
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Biology related concepts
A collection containing 59 resources, curated by Benetech
Resources to teach younger students about animals
A collection containing 58 resources, curated by DIAGRAM Center